Over the years, Google's inability to pick a business strategy, articulate it to its partners and customers, and execute it to perfection has caused the company problems. Take, for example, the company's messaging strategy with products like Allo coming and going, more than one text app for Android, and more. But messaging hasn't been the only place where the company's lack of focus has caused problems, with the latest being video, and particularly Google TV.
Google TV was a smart TV platform developed and provided by Google to TV manufacturers. It was a market failure and was replaced by Android TV in 2014. Recently, the Google TV name was brought out of retirement, but for something a little different. Now, it is an interface on top of Android TV and available on the newer Chromecast devices, which brings together a variety of streaming services into one place to allow you to search for and favorite content from all of the disparate platforms.
For a platform like this to be at all useful or popular, it has to support all of the major services. Until this week, that is how Google TV worked - until suddenly the ability to add content from Netflix to your watchlist. Initially, it seemed like perhaps a bug in the system. However, as the week went on, Netflix was removed from Google TV entirely. This includes adding Netflix as a service on the platform. The Netflix app and platform itself still works as expected - just not the integration with the Google TV interface. Google has responded to all requests about the change with the same statement, saying,
With Google TV, our goal is to bring the best of our search and discovery features across your subscriptions to your favorite devices. We work with each content partner to enable these entertainment experiences, and the level of integration will vary by partner.
Whatever is going on between Google and Netflix needs to be solved quickly if Google has any hopes of getting people to accept the newest incarnation of Google TV.